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Laurentian University Wins NASA Mining Competition

A team from Laurentian University in Ontario, Canada has won NASA's Lunabotics Mining Competition.

The university-level competition asked teams of students to design and build remote controlled or autonomous excavators called lunabots. The machines, limited by weight and size restrictions, were designed to collect and deposit at least 10 kilograms of lunar simulant within 15 minutes.

According to information released by NASA, the agency "will directly benefit from the competition by encouraging the development of innovative lunar excavation concepts from universities which may result in clever ideas and solutions which could be applied to an actual lunar excavation device or payload."

The Laurentian University team's lunabot won first place by collecting more than 237 kg of the synthetic lunar material during the competition. The team was awarded $5,000 in scholarships, Kennedy launch invitations, a school plaque, and individual certificates.

A team from the University of North Dakota won the Joe Kosmo Award for Excellence. They received Kennedy launch invitations, a school trophy, and up to $1,500 in travel expenses for each team member and a faculty advisor to attend NASA Desert Research and Technology Studies.

Winners in other categories include:

More information about the competition is available at nasa.gov.

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is the multimedia editor for Campus Technology and THE Journal. He can be reached at jbolkan@1105media.com.

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